Dr. Rizwan Ahmad, The Ohio State University
More information coming soon!
BME Seminar Series: Dr. Chang Lu, Virginia Tech
“Microfluidics for Mapping Epigenomes in the World of Precision Medicine”
Precision medicine requires comprehensive analysis of the molecular drivers of a disease for individual patients and use of the information to devise therapeutic procedures. In the post-genome era, such analysis benefits tremendously from decreasing cost of next-generation sequencing and improvement in big data processing. However, critical technical barrier still exists for establishing genome-wide profiles using tiny amounts of samples extracted from patients and lab animals. In this seminar, I will discuss our efforts on using microfluidics as a versatile platform for profiling epigenomes based on a low number of cells in the context of precision medicine. The epigenome turns on and off genes in a highly dynamic fashion during normal development and diseases, forming another layer of regulation on top of gene sequence. We developed MOWChIP-seq to profile histone modifications using as few as 100 cells (2015 Nature Methods). More recently, we developed microfluidic assays to probe genome-wide DNA methylation. I will discuss our studies of cell-type specific epigenomic landscapes in the context of stem cell differentiation and brain functions using these tools. These new technologies will generate insights into disease processes and help create personalized treatment strategy.
Dr. Chang Lu is the Fred W. Bull professor of chemical engineering at Virginia Tech. Dr. Lu obtained his B.S. in Chemistry with honors from Peking University in 1998 and PhD in Chemical Engineering from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2002. He then spent 2 years as a postdoctoral associate in Applied Physics of Cornell University. His research has been in the general area of developing microfluidic technologies for molecular/cellular manipulation and analysis, with recent focus on profiling epigenomes using tiny amounts of samples. These technologies have been useful for understanding disorders and processes such as cancer, stem cell differentiation, and brain development. Dr. Lu received Wallace Coulter Foundation Early Career Award, NSF CAREER Award, and VT Dean’s award for research excellence among a number of honors.
BME Seminar Series: Dr. Mingming Wu, Cornell University
“Biophysical Force Regulation in Tumor Cell Invasion”
When embedded within 3D extracellular matrices (ECM), animal cells constantly probe and adapt to the ECM locally (at cell length scale) and exert forces and communicate with other cells globally (up to 10 times of cell length). It is now well accepted that mechanical crosstalk between animal cells and their microenvironment critically regulate cell function such as migration, proliferation and differentiation. Disruption of the cell-ECM crosstalk is implicated in a number of pathologic processes including tumor progression and fibrosis. Central to the problem of cell–ECM crosstalk is the physical force that cells generate. In this talk, I will discuss about our effort in developing a three dimensional traction force microscopy, and biological insights gained using this technology. By measuring single cell generated force within 3D collagen matrices, we revealed a mechanical crosstalk mechanism between the tumor cells and the ECM. Cells generate sufficient force to stiffen collagen fiber network, and stiffer matrix, in return promotes larger cell force generation. Our work highlights the importance of fibrous nonlinear elasticity in regulating tumor cell-ECM interaction, and results may have implications in the rapid tissue stiffening commonly found in tumor progression and fibrosis.
Mingming Wu received her PhD in Physics from the Ohio State University in the US in 1992, and was a postdoctoral researcher at Ecole Polytechnique in France in year 1992 and University of California at Santa Barbara in 1993- 1995. She became an assistant/associate professor in the physics department at Occidental College in Los Angeles in year 1996-2003. She joined Cornell College of Engineering in year 2003. Starting 2012, she became an associate professor in the Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering at Cornell University.
BME Seminar Series: Dr. Martin L. Yarmush, Rutgers University
“New Approaches to Mesenchymal Stem Cell Therapy”
Recently there has been a paradigm shift in what is considered to be the therapeutic promise of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in diseases of vital organs. Originally, research focused on MSCs as a source of regenerative cells through the differentiation of transplanted cells into lost cell types. It is now clear that trophic modulation of inflammation, cell death, fibrosis, and tissue repair are primary mechanisms of MSC therapy. This has been clarified in studies where delivery of growth factors, cytokines, and other signaling molecules secreted by MSCs is often sufficient to obtain the therapeutic effects. In this presentation, examples of MSC therapy in disease models of vital organs using models of acute liver failure, acute renal injury, and spinal cord injury will be described.
Martin L. Yarmush is an internationally recognized bioengineer and translational scientist whose laboratory has been a pioneer and leader in multiple fields including: tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, applied immunology and biotechnology, and BioMEMS and medical devices. Dr. Yarmush currently serves as the Paul and Mary Monroe Chair and Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Rutgers University, and the Director of the Center for Engineering in Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. Over the last 30 years, Dr. Yarmush has: 1) published more than 480 journal articles, 2) has co-authored more than 50 patents and patent applications, 3) has mentored over 140 postdoctoral fellows and graduate students, and 4) has taught a spectrum of courses from Molecular Genetics and Immunology, to Thermodynamics and Transport Phenomena. More than 70 of his former fellows have gone on to successful careers in academia both here and abroad, while many others have gone on to become leaders in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries. In addition to his teaching and research achievements, Dr. Yarmush has contributed to the advancement of science and engineering through service as: (1) a member of NIH, NSF, FDA, and Office of Technology Assessment review panels; (2) an advisory board member for foundations (e.g. the Whitaker Foundation, Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, and Doris Duke Foundation), academic-based centers, and industrial firms; and 3) an editor of several science and engineering journals. A frequent invited speaker at major conferences and institutions, and winner of over 25 local and national awards, Dr. Yarmush’s research “pushes the envelope” on several healthcare technology frontiers through the use of state-of-the-art techniques that include microfabrication and nanotechnology; genomics, proteomics and genetic engineering; advanced microscopic imaging; physiologic instrumentation; and numerical simulation. He has been credited with many pioneering scientific and technological advances including: innovative cell culture systems and tissue constructs, stem cell therapies, venous access devices, dynamic cell and tissue microsystems, pulsed electric field therapies, bioartificial organs development, targeted therapies for tumors and infections, recombinant protein purification techniques, and recombinant retrovirus production and purification techniques. Some of these developments have resulted in patents and the formation of companies based on these advances. Dr. Yarmush received his BA degree in biology and chemistry from Yeshiva University, his MD degree from Yale University, and completed PhD work at The Rockefeller University in biophysical chemistry and at MIT in chemical engineering.
BME Seminar Series: Dr. Damir Janigro, Flocel Inc.
“Blood-brain barrier in health and diesase”
The blood-brain barrier (BBB) serves to protect the central nervous system (CNS) from damage by exogenous molecules. In doing so, it also can prevent some drugs from reaching their sites of action. A variety of CNS disorders contribute to BBB disruption, and detection of this “opening” can be used for both diagnostic purposes and for determining time periods when drugs can more easily enter the CNS. While expensive and time-consuming imaging techniques are currently used for this purpose, we have devised a method for detecting plasma levels of a blood biomarker of BBB disruption. The relevance of these findings in translational neurosciences will be discussed.
DR. DAMIR JANIGRO, PhD, FAES is the CSO and founder of Flocel Inc. a Professor at CWRU, a member of the World Neurobiology Commission of ILAE, and associate editor for Epilepsia, PLOS among others. He has over 30 years of experience and has received continuous support from the NIH since 1996. He is the inventor of the dynamic in vitro model of the BBB that constituted one of the founding blocks of Flocel’s technology. He discovered S100B as a marker of BBB function and has for many years collaborated with top notch hospitals in the US and Europe to broaden the scope and use of this technology. He recently patented the use of S100B as marker of hemorrhagic transformation in stroke victims undergoing intra-arterial therapies. With his former student, Dr. Nicola Marchi, he received the Morris-Coole award in 2008. He has served on several NIH panels, and has been part of three FDA applications. He served as Chairman for study sections for the American Heart Association and the Department of Defense. He has been associated with neurosurgeons and neurointensivists since his post-doctoral years at the University of Washington (1994-1999). He has published over 150 papers.
BME Seminar Series: Dr. Giuliano Scarcelli, University of Maryland
More details coming soon.
BMEGSA Exchange: Maung Zaw Win
“The Effect of Cellular Architecture on Functional and Mechanical Properties”
Recently, there has been a push towards clinical translation of biomechanical models of tissues by developing patient-specific models to predict disease outcomes. To accomplish this, it is necessary to understand the functional and mechanical properties of all the tissue components, including individual cells. In vasculature, tissues and cells have different structures based on their functional role. The principle goal of this work is to determine how cellular architecture influences function and mechanical properties. To test our hypotheses, we have developed in vitro models to study the relationship between structure and function at the tissue and cellular scale. We have developed microfluidic capture array device (MCAD) technology (Fig. 1) to study cell structure and function in 2D engineered vascular smooth muscle tissue and have developed cellular micro-biaxial stretching (CμBS) microscopy (Fig. 2) to determine single cell mechanical properties. Using MCAD technology we are able to vary initial cell-cell contact during seeding to bias the cellular architecture in confluent vascular smooth muscle tissues. We found that tissues seeded using initially higher cell–cell contact conditions yielded tissues with a more elongated cellular architecture which lead to greater contractile function in engineered tissues. We have also developed CμBS microscopy to determine the anisotropic mechanical properties of individual cells, which we employ to determine the full mechanical description (given by the strain energy density function) of vascular smooth muscle cells. Using our method, we find that smooth muscle cells with native-like architectures are highly anisotropic and can be described by a general strain energy density function based on the actin cytoskeletal organization. Our results suggest that structural organization of cells in organs affect their functional and mechanical properties.
BME Seminar Series: Dr. Rouzbeh Amini, University of Akron
“Multi-scale Framework for Analysis of Tricuspid Valve Biomechanics “
Mechanics plays a critical role in tissue development, regeneration, and remodeling, as cell-cell interactions and cellmatrix interactions are known to be heavily influenced by changes in the mechanical microenvironment at the extracellular matrix (ECM)/cellular level. In the tricuspid valve (TV), located between the right ventricle and the right atrium in the heart, the leaflets open and close more than three billion times during their lifetime. Thus, TV cells and ECM maintain their homeostasis while subjected to a highly dynamic loading environment. Considering the hierarchy of the living system (i.e. heart, valves, leaflets, and ECM/cellular levels in the case of TV), it is imperative to study biomechanics and mechanobiology using multi-scale approaches. Unfortunately, such multi-scale frameworks do not currently exist, and a main goal of our research lab is to combine experimental techniques and computational simulation to address such major limitations. We are particularly interested in understanding why TV surgery has poor long-term success rate (30% to 40% of patients who undergo surgery have had a recurrence of valve problems). We aim to understand how tricuspid valve repair procedures will affect the valve’s function at the tissue level and at the ECM (micro) level, as we believe that surgical alterations cause changes in tissue stress and tissue microstructure in ways that can eventually lead to failure of the repaired valve.
Dr. Amini completed a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Minnesota in the field of ocular biomechanics and biotransport in 2010. He then continued his research work on the mechanics of soft tissue as a postdoctoral trainee at the University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Bioengineering, where he held the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NIH F32). He conducted his postdoctoral research on the biomechanics of cardiac valves. Dr. Amini has served as an assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at The University of Akron since August 2013. The overall goal of his research laboratory is to improve human health by studying the multi-scale biomechanics and biotransport in cardiovascular, ocular, and digestive systems. Dr. Amini’s research has been funded by the Akron Children’s Hospital, Firestone Foundation, and American Heart Association.
BME Seminar Series: Dr. Lori Setton, Washington University in St. Louis
Dr. Setton is the elected president of the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES).
“The Stressful Life of the Intervertebral Disc Cell”
Intervertebral disc disorders contribute to pain and disability in millions of affected individuals annually, contributing to low back pain’s ranking as #1 in disease impact in the USA. Pathological processes for resident cells of the intervertebral disc, the nucleus pulposus cells, contribute to premature cell death that can drive loss of intervertebral disc height, tissue destruction and herniation. These nucleus pulposus cells are derived from notochord, unlike the neighboring mesenchymal cells, and are responsible for tissue synthesis and growth in the neonate. With loss of this cell population in the first decades, the intervertebral disc experiences altered disc biochemical composition, cellularity, and material properties that are major contributors to disc pathology. Our laboratory has studied factors that regulate nucleus pulposus cell phenotype and demonstrated an ability to promote biosynthesis and survival through interactions with laminin matrix proteins. We have also advanced knowledge of environmental cues that promote a healthy, biosynthetically active nucleus pulposus cell, factors that can be manipulated to attenuate inflammatory cytokine expression, promote matrix biosynthesis, and control progenitor cell differentiation. In this talk, we will describe our work with engineering substrates and protein-conjugated biomaterials to deliver cells to the disc for regeneration purposes.
Dr. Setton received her B.S.E. from Princeton University in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, with M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Columbia University. Dr. Setton joined the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Duke University in 1994, where she served as the Bevan Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Orthopaedic Surgery. Dr. Setton recently joined the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Washington University to accept the position as Lopata Distinguished Pofessor of Biomedical Engineering & Orthopaedic Surgery.
Dr. Setton’s research focuses on understanding the mechanisms for degeneration and regeneration of soft tissues of the musculoskeletal system. Recent work focuses on development of in situ forming hydrogels for drug delivery and tissue regeneration in the knee joints and spine. She has funded her lab through grants from the NIH, NSF, Whitaker Foundation, Coulter Foundation, OREF, AO Foundation, and research agreements with many corporations.
Dr. Setton has over 180 publications and has licensed several patents for commercial development. She has served on the Editorial Advisory Boards of the Annual Reviews of Biomedical Engineering, Journal of Biomechanical Engineering, Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, and Journal of Biomechanics. Dr. Setton has also served as a permanent member of NIH and NSF study sections, as a consultant to NIH and AAOS, and on the Boards of the Biomedical Engineering Society, Orthopaedic Research Society and World Council on Biomechanics. She is currently serving as President of the Biomedical Engineering Society from 2016-2018. Dr. Setton is a Fellow of the BMES, the AIMBE and has received a PECASE Award, Dean’s Award for Outstanding Research, Graduate Dean’s Award for Excellence in Mentoring, and ASME’s Mow Medal.
Speaker: Dr. Patric Glynn, Stitch Fix; Data Scientist, Client Algorithms
Title: “Data Science: A Nontraditional Career Option that Combines Experimentation, Programming, Math, and Statistics“
Choosing whether to pursue a career in academia or industry is a big decision. For individuals who choose industry, there are many diverse job options, including research scientist, product engineer, and others. In recent years, an additional career choice has surfaced for those that possess skills in experimentation, programming, math, and statistics: Data Science.
In this talk, I will discuss how Data Science can be a viable, fulfilling career path for Biomedical Engineering students looking for a nontraditional industry role. Specifically, we will cover:
- What is Data Science?
- What do Data Scientists do?
- How do the skills and training in Biomedical Engineering apply to Data Science?
I will also cover how being successful at a high-growth silicon valley technology company requires a different project and experimentation approach when compared to traditional academic research.
Dr. Patric Glynn received his B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University in 2009 and his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from The Ohio State University in 2015. While working on his Ph.D., he received an American Heart Association Predoctoral Fellowship. Dr. Glynn worked as a Data Scientist at Nationwide Insurance before moving out to San Francisco, where he has spent the last 1.5 years as a Data Scientist at Stitch Fix. At Stitch Fix, he is a member of the Client Algorithms team, where he focuses on researching and implementing company strategies for algorithmic approaches to customer retention and reengagement.